Archive for May 5th, 2011

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Barbara wins NASL Player of the Month honours

Etienne Barbara

Etienne Barbara has been named the NASL player of the month.

The physical Maltese forward from the Carolina RailHawks is tied for the league scoring lead with four markers, and has victimized both Canadian NASL teams in the first month of the season.
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Are there winds of goalkeeping change blowing at FC Edmonton?

Rein Baart

Is there a goalkeeping controversy at FC Edmonton?

The fact that Lance Parker supplanted Rein Baart — the Dutch veteran who had been FCE’s No. 1 to this point — in goal for Wednesday’s Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal second leg in Toronto wasn’t really a surprise. Baart had earned a red card in Sunday’s NASL match against Montreal, and will be suspended for Saturday’s match in Atlanta. So, getting Parker into the lineup, when FCE was already 3-0 down to Toronto FC after the first leg, was the right call for coach Harry Sinkgraven. He needd to get the former Chivas USA prospect some quality time ahead of the date with the Silverbacks.

But what was surprising that Baart wasn’t even dressed. Jaswinder Gill had the back-up duties last night. And the club confirmed Thursday that Baart’s absence from the starting lineup and the bench was a coach’s decision. There wasn’t an injury situation.
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Gerba’s gaffe sends fortunate Whitecaps to NCC final

Ali Gerba

Ali Gerba will wonder what could have been. What should have been.

Make no mistake. The Vancouver Whitecaps dominated the second leg of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal in front of their home crowd at Empire Field. If not for the stellar work of Impact keeper Bill Gaudette, the tie would have decided over a long time ago.

But, the Montreal Impact should be the one going through. All Gerba had to do was convert what was a pretty automatic scoring chance in the dying seconds of extra time. But, with Whitecaps keeper Jay Nolly at his mercy and no defender in sight, Gerba’s header crashed off the post. The Whitecaps escaped with a 2-1 aggregate win; a 1-1 draw on the night.

Wearing the club’s special pink jersey that the Impact dons for NCC matches, Gerba’s miss looked anything but pretty.
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TFC and FCE both rebound in second leg of Cup semifinal

Aron WinterWith a three-goal gap separating Toronto FC and FC Edmonton going into the second leg of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship tie, there wasn’t much drama as to who was advancing to the tournament final. Wednesday’s match therefore became a test for both sides to exorcise some recent demons and, to that end, both teams were happy with their performance in the 1-0 TFC victory.

For FCE, the game presented an opportunity to turn around its terrible recent form. Edmonton had been outscored 10-0 in their previous three matches, including a 3-0 loss to TFC in the first leg of the tie, and an ugly 5-0 loss to Montreal in league play last Sunday. Though FCE still didn’t get on the scoreboard (stretching their scoreless drought to 439 minutes), they at least threatened the Reds and kept the game close.

“When I look at the game we did pretty well, it was much better organized than on Sunday, especially in the back,” said FCE head coach Harry Sinkgraven. “In the second half we tried to press a bit more since we had the wind advantage. Also in the second half we pressed Toronto a couple of times and it’s unlucky we didn’t score. We looked for a good game from our side and we’re satisfied about it, but we want to have a result.”
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